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The glass Christmas tree ornament in its incredible variety of shapes is certainly one of the most popular and famous types of Christmas decorations. Although it was not just produced in the German town of Lauscha, Lauscha is considered to be the centre of glass Christmas tree decorations.

First hand-blown baubles

The first hand-blown Christmas tree baubles were made from thick glass, which received a lining with a silver-white pigment or lead and was therefore reflective. The still very large openings were closed with the help of corks which a ribbon was pulled through or decorated metal or brass caps. These early baubles are still very heavy. It was only from 1867 that thinner and therefore lighter baubles could be blown due to hotter and controllable flames. It was roughly from this time onwards that the less harmful silver nitrate was used for reflection.

Glaskugel silber
Gablonzer Glasbaumschmuck

Gablonz glass tree decoration

One special form of the glass Christmas tree decoration is the glass bead ornament from Gablonz (Jablonec) in Bohemia. Hollow lampworked beads have been produced there since the second half of the 19th century and are predominantly attached to clothing, bags or hair nets as decoration. There were “free hand beads” or “moulded beads” blown in a model, as well as connected rows (up to 12 cm long) of blown beads, so-called “Klautschen” and the hollow blown 2-4 cm long glass pins and rings. The first Christmas tree decoration from Gablonz is supposed to be the result of the leftover individual beads being threaded onto a wire. Its production had its heyday around the turn of the century, although it always remained just an additional branch of the main sector of bead production. Bicycles, cars, ships, aeroplanes, insects, stars and musical instruments are preferred motifs for the varied Christmas assortment.

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